I just finished Bonfire of the Vanities like a week ago. It's one of those books about unlikeable people whom the author attempts to make likable through circumstance. But that circumstance is junk bond-era Manhattan and no book has made me hate New York and New Yorkers quite like Bonfire of the Vanities.
I suspect it was loved as much as it was because it was serialized through Rolling Stone and it allowed East Coast elitists to get high on the smell of their own farts. Thinking about it now, it's entirely possible that American Psycho was a direct reaction to Bonfire of the Vanities but I hated the shit out of that book too.
I have nothing really to add to this except for the fact that I'd be a lot more likely to mourn the loss of a literary lion if I hadn't been stuck in his goddamn teeth until just recently.